Thursday, November 10, 2016

Just getting all the garbage off my chest.

Don't read any further. This post is like all the rest. I've been spiraling for three days and just needed a space get it all out in one train of though- a space to exhale.

As much as I am pro-woman, I did not vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman. That had very, very, very little to do with it. Nothing, really. I voted for her because I think she is smart, extremely driven, well-qualified and respected across the globe. I have been disappointed, however, in her ties to corporations, her poor decision to jeopardize our safety through that darn external email server, and what seems to me to be her obvious "face of the party"- all of her marketing felt desperate to me. It felt insincere and contrived. She was not the candidate I would have hand-picked.

But I believe in equality, I believe in taking care of the people around you and doing the right thing for the safety, respect, and well being of EVERYONE on this globe. We've done a lot of bad things to other countries, to people in our own country, to our environment and to "minorities" who are rapidly becoming majorities. Although not a perfect candidate, Hillary has demonstrated for decades that she tries to help. Tries to make the difference for those who are disenfranchised and she did it by playing the game. She's shaken hands with the right people to make the agreements she felt necessary for an ultimate goal of providing resources to those who need them. The game is the problem, but it seems to me that she played it for the better.

I can understand the conservative desire for stricter financial decisions and for the fear that many people have had about the safety of our military, but what I do NOT understand is how those same people, who have daughters, wives, sisters, nieces...who have autistic children or disabled friends...who work with someone whose genitals have no impact on their work ethic...who live in communities where people work hard and have demonstrated that they are kind, generous, responsible people...can justify a balanced budget over the hateful and violent and outright WRONG things that are being done to those people they consider "loved ones" and friends. Turning a blind eye to what their desire for money has done.

I don't want our country to be in debt. I don't want our military to be at any greater risk. I want people to take legal and thoughtful steps when realizing their own dreams to live and work in America. But no matter how reasonable those ideals are- this president elect has brought out the worst side of the meanest people in this country. It's not fair. I'm so upset. I feel terrible that I didn't canvas for her. I feel like I should be punished for not pushing harder on the members of my family who likely supported him. Right now, I am embarrassed to be from Ohio and to be standing under the America flag. I can only assume that once the sting and shock wears off, I will regain some of my patriotism and optimism for what our future can be.

I don't want to live in a country of "free-loaders". I work hard, I pay my taxes and I've absolutely seen people take advantage of some of the systems we have in place and I don't like that not everyone makes the moral choice, but GOOD GOD, how can any of us hang our hats on the meanness that is taking place? How can we justify this push toward abandoning those most vulnerable and those most in need of support? This president elect may have a democratic past. He may have overseen large numbers of people in his work. He might have some good ideas for our national budget and for protecting our military. Unfortunately, that's not what his campaign was built on. It was built on empowering the meanest, most shocking people in our culture who, despite decades of proven value, want to hurt others- be in through the hateful words, the violence, and even the non-verbal communication, like BUILDING A FUCKING WALL. To be clear, I'm NOT talking about "all conservatives" in a blanket statement. I'm talking about the man who forced himself on a woman in the gas station parking lot and asked her "are you afraid now, you liberal cunt?" I'm talking about the people who are putting up Texas Vigilante signs proclaiming violence and I'm talking about the KU KLUX KLAN, who formally endorsed this candidate. And yes, that racism and hate existed before today. There will always be people who think that those who are different are bad. But I'm so concerned that this could become the norm because OUR PRESIDENT has lighted the way. Fight hate with hate? How much violence will our communities see? How many people will die? Maybe this is God's way of creating population control? Kill half of the people, and make the rest of them scared to procreate?

I hate that I am white, 30 year old woman from Ohio. No matter who you ask on any side of any issue, my demographics are "part of the problem". There is nothing I can say to anyone that won't be tinged with biases that say "SHE IS THE PROBLEM". I'm shocked that so many people in my state and country disregarded the idea that someone, anyone, would physically or verbally violate me and treat me as "less". That the people who I love would treat my LGBTQ friends as "less"- even if they "work hard", "go to church", "pay their bills" and "served in the military"- all the things they want, right? Because of money. That's it. That's all this boils down to. Where is our compassion? Where is our human decency?
I'm just so upset that the worst of those among us, who live by hate and hurt, have been handed the baton. I'm going to have to do better in 2020.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Do I love writing?

It’s a question I keep asking myself because I can’t seem to get motivated for personal, extra-curricular writing, no matter how many times a day I try to get started. My new(ish) job requires that I write daily, and the topic isn’t one that I’m naturally enthusiastic about. Writing has started to feel more like a grind, where it used to feel like a message to the outside world and a chance to free the little squiggling ideas in my head. Based on the atmosphere of my blog (tumbleweeds and dry, desert winds) anyone with any sense think that the clear answer is no. Lately, I only write to please someone else. It can be so frustrating, because that means edits, rewrites, and in this scenario it often feels like I’m aiming at a moving target.

I hate missing the mark.

As a result I’ve been paying more attention to what it means to write with intention. I’m reading more content, both for work and about the topics I’m interested in, which pointed me toward a webinar where the presenter talked about his natural love for writing. His excitement started my mind racing. “Do I love writing? Do I even LIKE it?” Being that the daily grind has been just that, I suddenly worried I don’t have that basic, intrinsic drive.

I started thinking about the writing process, specifically MY writing process. How it doesn’t matter if someone else reads it because it’s about finding the perfect word and the feeling I get when I’ve completed my thoughts. It’s so satisfying! It makes me so proud! It’s tangible proof of my existence, and the things I care about. Reviewing a great piece I’ve created makes me happy. I’m pretty sure it’s the same feeling a parent has for their little baby that they just want to stare at, breathe in, and smooch all over. (I checked with my parent friends- they are in 100% agreement that writing is exactly like bearing a child and then raising it.)

But thank god for that webinar. (A rarer sentence has never been uttered.) It sparked me to move, and not just blindly forward toward a deadline and a selling point. It reminded me that letting those little weirdo ideas play, and then capturing them cleverly is one of the greatest joys I know. I decided I’m going to be more patient with myself, to mull over my ideas and nudge them forward. I’m going to write about what I know, and today what I know is that the answer is yes.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The lies I'll tell my sisters kids

I just decided that I'm going to tell my sisters' kids lots of lies. For my own entertainment. Upon discussing with them their views on letting colicky babies suck on whiskey soaked rags (obviously a old-timey idea that I'm not actually proposing they do) they said I can't babysit for their little ones.

Because I'm defiant, but also creative, I thought "I'll show them!" and came up with the following, potentially disturbing lies to tell their kids. You are welcome to borrow these ideas to scare your neighborhood kids this Halloween, if you like:

(your mom was born with an extra baby arm that she had to have removed...don't ask her to see the scar, she's self conscious)
(your mom stays up all night staring at you, trying to read your mind. It works)
(your mom can see extra colors, including the color of heaven)
(one time your mom got a tattoo of a chinchilla on her butt but got it covered up with your dad's name)
(when we were little, your mom used to tie up her baby dolls and make them eat dog food)
(your mom isn't your real mom, she's an alien that adopted you. When you're nine, you're going to move to outer space)
They decided my impromptu and creepy lies are probably the reason why my cousin Elizabeth was afraid of me for a few years.

I hope you'll all come visit me in the loony bin...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Touchdowns and Tiaras

For the third year in a row, my adrenaline runs high every Thursday, Sunday and Monday, my hopes for victory teetering dangerously, threatening to give me wrinkles and making me lose sleep.

Sound familiar? Are you, too, the owner of your very own fantasy football team?

I keep coming back for more, always telling myself I'll leave, I'll really do it this time! ...but never leaving. This year, my abusive relationship with the NFL is in a honeymoon stage (haha, jokes about domestic violence... #NFL... : / ).

I'm in third place in my league, an all-girls league with some of my best pals. We've nailed this "fantasy football" thing by having custom t-shirts made, putting real money on the table and vowing to slash each others tires at the start of a new week. You'd definitely be impressed with our trophy. (Note that the winner gets a tiara and the loser gets a do-rag).

Last year my team sunk to the bottom of the barrel, so I didn't have high hopes for any success this season. I'm pounding on wood over here (as you do) because my rank is high, my points are good and for once I don't feel like the laughing stock of the league.

It's such a blast to be part of the group each year and I'm always impressed with our Commissioner, who often finds herself pregnant or breastfeeding during the draft and throughout the season. How she manages to keep on top of the league and the rest of us organized, I have no idea. We often discuss and take pride in the fact that we are a bunch of girls who get excited about fantasy football, and don't need any BOY to help us make our league a success. How many all-female fantasy leagues do you think are out there? I'd really love to know. Hey CBS Sunday Morning! Do some research on this for me, would ya? My friends and I would happily be interviewed for the segment.

Wish me luck the remainder of the season...